Welcome message from the new editorial duo

Abstract: 

In this editorial, we reflect on our new roles as Editor-in-Chief and Deputy Editor of JCOM. We acknowledge the work of previous editors of JCOM, the Editorial Office and the wider JCOM community who have contributed to the success of the journal. We introduce the new Editorial Board and future directions for the journal, and we encourage suggestions from authors, reviewers and readers for taking the journal forward.

Received: 

21 March 2022

Accepted: 

31 March 2022

Published: 

11 April 2022

SISSA Medialab, the publisher of JCOM, has appointed Michelle Riedlinger as Editor-in-Chief and Marina Joubert as Deputy Editor.

We are excited to be taking the editorial reigns and deeply grateful for the vision and dedication of earlier editors who have paved the way for JCOM to become a highly recognised platform for sharing science communication scholarship and best practice.

JCOM, one of seven journals published by SISSA Medialab, is the only open-access academic journal devoted to the broad field of science communication. This makes JCOM uniquely accessible — to authors, practitioners and students from around the world.

Behind the scenes at SISSA Medialab, an excellent team handles the process of reviewing, proofing, typesetting and publishing new contributions. Our wholehearted thanks go to the previous editor and the team at the editorial office who have helped us tremendously during the hand-over process.

Back in 2002, JCOM started off with ambitious ideals for its time: bringing research and practice together, giving a voice to science communication communities and representatives of communities excluded from discussions, promoting geographical diversity, inclusiveness and equity, and supporting national science communication efforts to advance research and practice. We remain committed to these ideals for the field of science communication.

In her farewell editorial, Emma Weitkamp reflected on the significant growth of the journal during her editorship of nearly eight years, with research articles and other contributions more than doubling since 2015. This was accompanied by an increase in the journal’s Citescore (a measure of how frequently articles are cited) from 0.8 to 2.2 over the same time period. Across all article types, our rejection rate (not suitable or rejected via peer review) is around 60%. We will build on this excellent track record within the existing JCOM scope, by continuing to publish a diverse range of high-quality research and practice insights related to the broad field of public science communication.

With the increasingly metricised university systems in many countries, we recognise that many researchers in our field depend on publications for tenure, promotion, and ongoing research funding. They need impartial and timely editorial decisions and constructive feedback. To respond to this demand, we have expanded JCOM’s Editorial Board to include researchers and practitioners from 21 countries. They will actively assist as guest editors and peer reviewers. They will also help us to ensure that JCOM continues to attract high-quality contributions from an increasingly diverse community of researchers and practitioners. JCOM also depends on the goodwill and expertise of our vast network of peer reviewers. We currently have 1,230 referees registered in our system and we are extremely grateful for their expertise and time.

Looking ahead, we will ensure that JCOM continues to provide readers with access to high-quality academic research and innovative science communication practice. Both of us have worked as science communication practitioners before embarking on careers in research, and we see substantial value in science communication theory and practice mutually informing and critiquing each other. As a general guide, we encourage submissions that deal with widespread science communication practice issues or problems. We are looking for well-described approaches to evidence-based practice and projects that contribute to originality in global science communication practice. We also encourage submissions of conference reviews, book reviews and commentaries of interest to the JCOM community.

We look forward to hearing from you, our authors, readers and reviewers, about your suggestions for taking the journal forward. Please share your ideas for innovation with us through the JCOM Office (feedback@jcom.sissa.it). We would also like your help in increasing the visibility of the journal and facilitating online discussions around new publications. Please join the JCOM conversations via Twitter (https://twitter.com/jscicom) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/jcom.sissa.it).

Authors

Michelle Riedlinger is a Chief Investigator at QUT’s Digital Media Research Centre (Brisbane, Australia). For over two decades, she has been working in collaborative and interdisciplinary qualitative and quantitative research teams focussed on online communication of environmental, agricultural and health research, emerging roles for “alternative” science communicators, online advocacy and public engagement in science.
Twitter: @riedlinm. E-mail: michelle.riedlinger@qut.edu.au.

Marina Joubert is a researcher at the South African Research Chair in Science Communication & Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology, Stellenbosch University, South Africa. Her research interests focus on scientists’ role in public communication of science, online interfaces between science and society, and the use of visual tools to engage the public with science.
Twitter: @marinajoubert. E-mail: marinajoubert@sun.ac.za.

How to cite

Riedlinger, M. and Joubert, M. (2022). ‘Welcome message from the new editorial duo’. JCOM 21 (03), E. https://doi.org/10.22323/2.21030501.